Learn more about Grammar:Adjectives: An Easy Guide with ExamplesAdverbial Clauses: What Are They?AdverbsAnalogy: Definition & Meaning (with Examples)ArticlesBad AdverbsClauses: Definition, Meaning, and How to Use ThemConjunctionsCoordinating Conjunctions: What Are They and When Should You Use Them?Dangling ModifiersDeclarative Sentence: Examples + MeaningExaggerationHomophones: Definition and ExamplesHow to Use Subordinating ConjunctionsInfinitivesInterjections: Definition, Meaning, and ExamplesIntransitive Verb: Definition, Meaning, and ExamplesNounsParticiples PluralsPrepositional Phrase: What Is It & How to UsePrepositionsSplit Infinitive: The Complete Guide (with Examples)Subordinate Clause: Definition, Types, and ExamplesThe Complete Guide to Transitive VerbsTransitions: A Complete Guide (with 100+ Examples)Types of VerbsVerbs: Types of Verbs, Definition and ExamplesWhat is a Pronoun? Rules and ExamplesWhat Is Symbolism in Writing?Word Classes
When should I use a determiner such as "a", "an", or "the"?
A, an, and the are types of determiner called articles, which introduce and provide context to a noun or noun phrase.
Articles are among the most common of the determiners. A, an, and the all express the definiteness and specificity of a noun.
The is a definite article, used to refer to a specific person, place, or thing. A and an are indefinite articles, used to refer to a general person, place, or thing.
Let's look at an example of each type.
- The boy is talking too loudly.
This sentence specifies a particular boy who is talking too loudly.
- A young child should never be left home alone.
This sentence refers to any young child because it is inappropriate in general for them to be left alone.